To “see” more

f anmysticd why I struggle to spend more time in silence

I have always been a fan of the mystics. They have such a deep connection with the “unknowable.” This piece by Richard Rohr has helped me to see that my thinking is totally non-linear and more in sync with the mystics. I have never seen things as totally right or wrong, left or right. I have always had an issue with totally scientific thinking. I don’t think it is wrong I just think that there is more. There is the intangible piece that I see (much more dimly than the true mystics). I think most of us have had a moment when the “unknowable” has broken through and we see “beyond.” It is what I seek to see more of and why I struggle to spend more time in silence and meditation and listening. In order to “see” more I am the one who must reach out.

and meditation and listening. In order to “see” more I am the one who must reach out.

julian norwich“When I use the word “mystical” I am referring to experiential knowing instead of just intellectual, textbook, or dogmatic knowing. A mystic sees things in their wholeness, connection, and union, not only their particularity. Mystics get a whole gestalt in one picture, beyond the sequential and separated way of seeing that most of us encounter in everyday life. In this, mystics tend to be closer to poets and artists than to linear thinkers. Obviously, there is a place for both, but since the European Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there has been less and less appreciation of such seeing in wholes. The mystic was indeed considered an “eccentric” (off center), but maybe mystics are the most centered of all, which leads them to emphasizing love as the center, the goal, and the motivating energy of everything.

The word mystic is not a title of superiority. It’s rather that mystics see things differently. Mystics are nondual seers. They don’t think one side is totally right and the other side is totally wrong. They can see that each side has a part of the truth. When people on either side of any contentious issue cannot love one another, it means they don’t have the big message yet.”                Richard Rohr

Opinions

The holiday is over and we are heading back to ?normal? There is nothing wrong with that but I do miss them. I used to have a sign that someone gave me to hang in my kitchen. It said: all our guests give pleasure…some by coming, others by going. These were not guests….they are family. In today’s world it is not unusual to have family living far away. I feel blessed that they are not a country away. At least I can fly there easily.

Now it is time to catch up on things that have been waiting for me to get to them. Life continues to move on and there is always something to do.

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Having a 21 year old and a 15 year old here was fun. I love ferreting out what how they see themselves. The 15 yo is an introvert and a male so feelings are not something that one discusses. I was able to sound him out about his favorite subject….biology..especially viruses and how to fight them. I can picture him working for the CDC one day. He struggles with social situations…but will learn with age. It’s funny that as we get older and find people who are like us things become easier.

My granddaughter is brilliant and hard to keep up with. She amazes me with her knowledge. She has done some modeling and can look beautiful when she wants. I like that sometimes she just wants to veg.

I wish I could say that I was able to dig into how they see themselves but that is hard to get from anyone. I have some idea from my experience of them but have fun trying to dig deeper.

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My father taught me to watch out forming opinions of others but I think our opinion of ourselves tends to shape us. The new generations have time to decide how they feel about themselves. I hope they are able to see beyond the opinion of others.

The balance

I didn’t post yesterday since we were in Charleston, SC with our family. It was a lovely time with the most amazing meal at a local restaurant. We are at home resting. They will be back tomorrow and we will enjoy the rest of their visit.

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Life recently has been crazy. Of course that is the usual thing. It is just a matter of balance. The balance between health issue, mental health, the world around us and all the events in our lives is tricky. Sometimes we feel that we are walking a high wire and that any moment we could over-balance and fall. I think that fear of falling is what put such stress on us. Instead of just walking ahead we spend our time looking down at our feet on the wire. That takes the focus from the things that matter and puts it directly on ourselves and our balance. Sometimes we just have to look ahead and keep going.

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Life truly is a balancing act. It can be scary and dangerous and stressful. We have to use all the coping skills we have to keep from falling. Our faith, our friends, our family, our medical resources help us to stay stable. We can use them as a balancing pole if we just reach out.

Never stop thinking you can do it. We can keep that balance and see life ahead.

There is no perfect

Today has been spent with family. I has been a wonderful day but I am very tired. I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I am really tired.

It is such a joy seeing part of my family enjoying each other. I am so glad that they grew up appreciating family and keeping up with each other. They have already shared much over the years and will continue to do so in the years to come.

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None of us is the perfect parent. I am sure there is no such person. Hopefully, each of us do our best to love and care for our children. This is what really matters. If we are lucky they will also care for us and for each other.

 

For a better world

In some of my recent reading I came across an interesting fact. As a Christian I have learned about original sin….the sin that came from the mistakes of Adam and Eve. However, the history of this idea was not originally connected to Jesus. It was not know in the very early church. It was not a doctrine accepted by either the Jewish faith or Islam. It is another doctrine that was hammered out when the early church was struggling to keep some cohesiveness of ideas.

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Several communities of Christians developed ideas that others saw as heading the wrong way and tried to wipe out what they considered heresy. The struggles led to the Council of Nicea where many church fathers sat down to come to some agreement. Many doctrines of Christianity came from this meeting.

The interesting thing to me is that things we have been taught as “truth” may have a different beginning than we realized. It shows how what we learn from those around us can be colored by their viewpoint.

Reaching back into time to find the history of concepts we have learned may bring a different perspective entirely.

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Not too long ago I saw a program that had people tell about their backgrounds and explore some of the prejudices they had about those from different cultures. countries, and races. They then had their DNA tested and it was interesting to discover that many of them had DNA in common with those they thought were different from them. It was, for them, a wake-up call to re-examine what they had been taught.

Never be afraid to explore the birth of customs and ideas. We may find that their beginnings are not what we thought. If, by doing so, we could discard some of our learned prejudices we may create a better world.

 

Have I?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “To leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you live—that is to have succeeded.”

That is my hope. I would like to think that somehow I have left the world better. That would bring meaning to my life.

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Have I done something to help someone?

Have I done something to make the earth cleaner?

Have I stood up or spoken out about abuse and injustice?

Have I showed kindness in the face of anger or hurt?

Have I helped the cause of injured or abused animals?

Have I listened when I should?

Have I followed my beliefs?

Have I showed love?

make a difference

 

And most important of all Have I done any of the above?

Ritual

I have been thinking about ritual.We often equate it with religion but that is not the only place that we see it. When I get ready for bed at night I wash my face, clean my teeth, ready my bed, lower the temperature in the room by opening the window or turning on the air conditioning, turn on the overhead fan and turn out the light. I do these things in order. That is a ritual. The doing of those tasks in order brings me continuity and peace.

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This is part of what ritual does for us. participating in religious ritual at its best brings us to a place where we can experience the infinite. For most of us this does not happen often. In the Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis has a demon distracting us in church by having us focus on anything except on the ritual. Is the lady ahead of us wearing a big hat? Is that a different woman with John? Anything will do.

Ritual of any kind usually feels comfortable and calming. (if it is familiar) We have many rituals whether we realize it or not. See if you can identify the rituals in your life.

The mystics

I love the mystics. Not just the Christian ones but any of them. BuddhaJalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, Joan of Arc, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard von Bingen, Confucius are just some of them. They are so focused. They spend time connecting with everything beyond themselves. Their understanding about what really matters is clear.

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I wish that I spent the time in meditation and silence that would bring me even a little closer to their link with “everything.” To be so synced with the universe and our role in it would be wonderful.

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I have experienced small amounts of this in the past and want to connect again. It is so hard to disconnect with everything going on around me. I continue to try and hope that I can find this kind of connection again. I will need to push to maintain a schedule until it becomes a habit.

You are you!

I love Dr.Seuss. There is so much wisdom in his books. I hope that some college course somewhere studies them. I have quite a collection and love reading them. Today I chose this quote to remind us that each of us is unique. There will never be another one. Never. Each of us is special. Appreciate who you are!

today you are you